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Howard University crushes Morehouse in first home football game of the season

The Howard men’s football team dominated Morehouse’s Maroon Tigers in a 65-19 victory last weekend with a strong rushing attack and defensive performances.

Breylin Smith (6) celebrates with his teammates after a touchdown reception. (Jayden Armant/The Hilltop)

The Howard University men’s football team crushed the Morehouse Maroon Tigers in their first game at Greene Stadium this season in a 65-19 victory over the weekend. 

The rain pouring down wasn’t enough to keep over 3,000 students from witnessing one of the most dominant performances in the stadium’s history. The blowout victory over Morehouse was the ideal season opener on the Mecca’s playing field.

It began with a 52-yard touchdown drive, featuring a 28-yard run from graduate quarterback Quinton Williams and an eight-yard rushing touchdown by senior running back Jarett Hunter. Another long scoring drive ensued, increasing Howard’s lead to 14-0. A 45-yard rushing touchdown by senior wide receiver Kasey Hawthorne, paired with a two-point conversion off a botched PAT, made the score 22-0. Morehouse scored their own touchdown near the end of the first quarter after a 60-yard run from sophomore running back Zion Bouie.

Howard scored two more touchdowns in the second quarter after big defensive stops, making the score 35-7. A fourth down stop and an interception off Morehouse senior quarterback Derrach West gave Howard good field position on both touchdown drives. They started to blow this game out after a 31-yard touchdown reception by sophomore running back Breylin Smith to go up 41-9. The two teams traded field goals, making it 44-12 at halftime. The second half featured more long runs and defensive dominance from Howard, eventually ending in a 46-point win.

The rushing attack was strong, grounding over 370 yards and six touchdowns. Wide receiver Hawthorne and running back Hunter combined for 174 rushing yards and four touchdowns, averaging over 13 yards per carry. This strong attack aided quarterback Williams, who went 17-of-26 for 205 yards and three touchdowns.

“I’m proud of the guys up front,” Williams said. “I say we’ve got the best front five in the FCS, and we’ve got a great backfield. It just makes my job easier when they have nights like this; I don’t really have to do too much. I applaud them for that week in and week out.”

On a night highlighted by the 65-point performance, coach Larry Scott emphasized the defensive effort shown against Morehouse.

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“Defense wins championships, people can’t beat you if they can’t score,” Scott said. “We wanna still be a little stingier on defense. I thought they really played well and did some things, especially our first unit and some of our second unit. Some of it was getting a lot of guys into the game and playing a lot of young guys. At some point, we’re gonna need everybody, and one of those guys is gonna have to step up in a critical situation this season.”

Howard gave up two kickoff returns for touchdowns in their 23-33 loss against Eastern Michigan the previous week. Scott acknowledged the special teams performing better Saturday night but still said there was room for improvement.

“I think they played a little bit better, but it’s something we’ve still gotta show up and really look at,” Scott said. “I told the guys in the locker room I think we still gave them a little too much on that, so we’ve gotta dive into that as we continue moving forward. That was the difference last week that kept us from being victorious, so it’s definitely something we’ve gotta keep looking at and get cleaned up.”

Hawthorne praised the crowd’s infectious energy and participation throughout the whole game. “It’s always good to come out and play in front of the HU fans. We love our fans, shout out to everybody who showed up,” he said. “We appreciate the support. We need the same crowd versus Hampton next week.”

Howard plays Hampton University on Sep. 16 at 3:30 p.m. in the “Battle of the Real HU.”

Copy edited by Alana Matthew

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